Colangelo Gets Candid On Busy Day For Raptors

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Mike Ulmer --
July 8, 2010

Negotiations are still ongoing to arrange a sign-and-trade deal with Chris Bosh, Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said Thursday.

While Bosh announced Thursday he was signing with the Miami Heat, Raptor officials retain hope they can involve him in a sign-and-trade deal.

That caveat emerged during a long question and answer session between Colangelo and reporters but with LeBron James set to announce his intentions a few hours later, Colangelo was hamstrung on what he could say.

"I'm not willing to talk about that right now. I would just say there are a lot of things that are still under consideration and I don’t think it’s over yet. It’s all predicated on where the dominoes will fall.”

In every other facet of the discussion, Colangelo was more than candid. Here are edited excerpts from his conference.

On his reaction: "We’re disappointed, sure. It's always disappointing when you lose that kind of player. You move forward and do what you can to get things moving in the right direction."

On the team's efforts to surround Bosh with complementary talents: "We have always tried to put the best possible players around Chris. We made countless transactions to bring complementary pieces; we changed styles a couple of times. We brought a shotblocking big (Jermaine O'Neal). You try different things. You build a team that's going to complement each other, but in this case, building around Chris, for whatever reason the wheels came off at the wrong time this past year."

On the impact of Bosh's departure: "You lose an all-star, a player who has been pretty meaningful in the community and in the hearts and minds of the fans, it's difficult to overcome. I have said often, we will survive without Chris. This is not big news today other than the fact that it's final."

On who can step up: "Andrea Bargnani will have much more of a platform to be the predominant scorer on the team. We are going to have the ball a lot more in Hedo Turkoglu's hands if he comes back. You've got these young players that are showing a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, energy, shot blocking, athleticism. We just added Ed Davis in the draft and Amir Johnson. I think we've got such a great young mix of athletic, energized, youthful players that it's exciting to see what could come of it."

On the notion that the Raptors fell short their efforts to secure Bosh: "I will tell you that despite a lot of the criticism here locally, I continue to get comments from my peers in the industry and people in the organization who said 'they tried everything. They did the right things. They put pieces around Chris and for whatever reason it didn't work out.' So you move on."

On the goal in the wake of Bosh's departure: "I said when I first got here it's always going to be the goal. It's always a disappointment when we don't make the playoffs."

On the machinations going on before Bosh signed with Miami: "We were working quite diligently to line up multiple options with multiple teams. We had several things in place and at the end of the day he chose a location and now things are still under consideration."

On the notion that Bosh is the latest in a long line of players to leave town when the first opportunity presented himself: "That’s not true. We had a chance to lose Chris Bosh several years ago and Chris decided to stay. We are losing Chris Bosh not because of the city, not because of the organization. We are losing Chris Bosh because he has an opportunity to play in completely unknown, unforeseen, unheard of circumstances. The possibility of three guys joining forces is unique and is somewhat a revolution for our league."

On the notion that Bosh left because Toronto is a basketball backwater: "Chris Bosh thrived as a basketball player here. He was voted an NBA all-star. He has been in consideration for MVP while he played at his highest level. Everything he has been able to accomplish and including the fact that he is able to make a maximum contract, came here. It’s not exactly a bad place to grow your career."

On his ability to get the job done: "I've been doing this for... I've lost count. There are going to be highs and lows, I wouldn't call this year a low point for me. I think we had everything in position to do just fine. I am pretty proud of the accomplishment we were able to make with respect to building the team on the fly last year when it seemed we were left on the roadside for dead. I am absolutely confident in myself, the management team and the coaching staff that we are moving in the right decision and we will continue to move in the right direction. When you have a setback, the loss of talent, you find other ways to emerge from that."


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